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Article
August 1950

RELIEF OF PAIN IN CHRONIC RELAPSING PANCREATITIS BY UNILATERAL SYMPATHECTOMY

Arch Surg. 1950;61(2):372-378. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1950.01250020376018
Abstract

CHRONIC relapsing pancreatitis is characterized by recurring attacks of pain in the upper abdominal region, often radiating to the back or to either side of the hypochondrium. The pain is usually severe during the first few days of the attack and is followed by a dull, distressing ache during the subsequent five to seven days. Increase of blood amylase or lipase, transitory hyperglycemia and glycosuria, steatorrhea and creatorrhea and roentgenologic evidence of calcification in the pancreas help to establish the diagnosis. The attacks may recur so frequently and with such great severity that the patient is unable to work or, worse still, may become addicted to opiates. For the relief of pain in the intractable case, dorsal sympathectomy and splanchnicectomy have proved successful.1

The rationale of this procedure is based on the fact that after bilateral sympathetic denervation pain cannot be elicited by applying pressure against the pancreas. White

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